A dark cloud looms over The Closer, as Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) continues her work with the overhanging threat of a lawsuit that has already put her at odds with her colleagues. But even as we get much anticipated closure at the end of Season 7, some of those dark vibes will follow the Major Crimes department as they transition into next year's spinoff.
At the celebration for The Closer's 100th episode on August 27, the cast and creator of the hit TNT show described Major Crimes as a darker, grittier and more edgy version of its predecessor.
"Major Crimes will be more dangerous than The Closer," creator and executive producer James Duff tells TV Guide Magazine. "It will be a different perspective on the justice system. The Closer has always been a perspective on the justice system and what it means to get to confession and hand over the case to the DA, and now the DA is going to be involved from the very beginning, so it will change our perspective and it will up the ante in some ways. It's about what type of justice America wants."
The show is currently casting the role of the District Attorney, a young female who will butt heads with Major Crimes, and more specifically with Captain Sharon Raydor (Mary McDonnell) who will be at the center of the new show.
McDonnell tells TV Guide Magazine that unlike Sedgwick, her character will not appear on every page. "I'll be near the center, but all those guys start to blossom and emerge," she says. "Symbolically, when you lose your mother, the children grow up. That's how I see it. I think the future lies in a different relationship to the story and a different energy with an ensemble."
While it appears that most of the cast — including Tony Denison, Raymond Cruz and G.W. Bailey — will likely make the transition, it also looks like one or two regulars will not become part of the new ensemble.
Jon Tenney, who plays Brenda's husband Fritz Howard, tells us he thinks Major Crimes will have to find another FBI consultant. "Fritz is married to Brenda and I think they should stay together, so where she goes, he goes," he told TV Guide Magazine. "I would like to believe they weather the storm together, whatever that is."
Corey Reynolds, whose character Detective Sergeant David Gabriel is under suspicion of leaking information that could damage Brenda's case, was also cagey about his future on the show. "Right now I'm more focused on finishing out the season. What's going to happen next, will happen when we get there," he says. "I'm trying to stay present."
But it's the departure of one woman that's going to have the biggest impact, and that will play out on-screen. "The Major Crimes department has to go through the grief of losing a savant and losing the gifted person at the center, who can charm us, who can make us understand things, and who is able to elicit confessions out of anyone," says McDonnell. "None of us have that gift, so how do we go on solving crimes without her? I can imagine we're going to be a wreck at times."